Well, I said in my last post that I had some things in the pipeline for 2012, and this is one of them (as you can tell, one of my New Year’s resolutions was not “assimilate with society”). Before the blank look of confusion or slight annoyance wears off your face, I shall do my best to explain the personal madness I have planned for the New Year.
I endeavor to build a mobile, home-like structure, on a trailer base platform, out of as much salvaged and recycled materials as possible, and live in it.
Why? Here’s the short list:
- It’s a serious statement about downsizing, de-consumerizing, and simplifying one’s life.
- It’s always been my desire to build my own home, and without the constraints of construction & zoning codes and building inspectors.
- It will cost me less than $10,000 (probably half of that) for a place to live independently and mortgage-free. You can’t find anywhere to live that cheap nowadays.
- It will be an environmental and green example that hopefully others can follow, once they realize it can be done.
- It will allow me to “walk the talk,” and get me reconnected with my true nature.
- small space = small utility bills = small carbon footprint.
- It will give me the freedom to live anywhere, especially after the zombie apocalypse happens.
I admit, this is not a “normal” thing to do, especially when I currently live very comfortably with my in-laws in a large, American-style house. Who in their right mind would want to give up things like unlimited hot water, electricity on demand, and a flushing toilet? Well, I’m not planning on eliminating all modern amenities, but the little voice in my head says, “there is great peace in simple living.” At this point in my life, I need that. It’s really important to me to have a space, any space of my own, no matter how small. We’ve had to make certain sacrifices over the last 6 years – one of them was to use our house money to capitalize the business; the downside of that meant a home of our own wouldn’t be an option for a long time. Solution – the gypsy wagon!
And just what will this pipedream entail, you ask? For one, a lot of scavenging, networking, creativity, elbow-grease, sweat, swearing, designing and engineering. But the biggest bump by far was acquiring the base component for the gypsy wagon – an unwanted tow-style rv. Since I have the gift of gab and a convincing delivery, I asked my friend, Kevin Stone, of Stone’s Camping World, to keep his eyes out for an rv that was too rotten to trade in. The universe provides per your request, and shortly thereafter a dumpster-worthy, crap-tastic rv moseyed into Kevin’s parking lot from Jackson, NJ – complete with leaking roof, mold, and corn growing in the shag carpets. The owners agreed to part with it for $500 (a pittance considering that the infrastructure is worth triple that), and now she’s all mine. Aren’t I the lucky one, eh?
This pathetic conglomeration of plastic, vinyl and aluminum will be stripped down to the actual trailer and rebuilt to my specs. I’ve drawn out the plans, planned the interior spaces and am currently working on a composting toilet design (yes, I said composting toilet, but that’s for a later post). I have supportive, crazy friends who have pledged their help and handiwork. I have a very understanding husband as well (Bobby swears this isn’t a deal-breaker, and that he’ll visit me on Wednesdays for his marital obligations), who may lend a hand once he sees how high the potential for me injuring myself is with power tools.
There are other perks that can result from this project…but that depends on how the construction progresses, and if my marriage survives my mayhem. The goal is to have it done by winter solstice, so I better get cracking on the de-construction this week. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for construction waste like windows that were ordered the wrong size, wood pallets for flooring & siding, and anything else you might think useful. Construction will depend on what I can acquire; my budget will be small and thrifty, and non-conventional means to making things work will be the norm (like I said – no construction codes)! If you don’t want to miss my amazing success, or my shameful ruin, stop by (or subscribe) so you can make supportive comments… or feel immense pity for my poor husband.